Whether you are traveling with the PlayStation 4 console, with its controllers, in a suitcase, or playing at a home or business, there’s always a chance that they are exposed to liquids at some point.
So are PlayStation 4s and their accessories waterproof?
PlayStation 4 consoles and controllers are not waterproof. The internal components of the PS4, including the fan, buttons, and GPU, do not have covers that protect them from liquids and can be damaged if they are submerged.
It is best to keep your console, controllers, and any other accessories as dry and away from spills as possible.
If you have encountered any spills and are wondering if your system will still operate properly, follow the tips below to make sure that it can power on again.
I also share some best practices to prevent spills on your precious console and accessories altogether, so that you can game in a worry-free zone.
The PS4 Console’s Clever Water-Resistant Top Layer
Although Sony has not officially stated that the design of the PlayStation 4 is not waterproof or water-resistant, they have incorporated some clever design elements into the console that, by nature, can shield small spills of liquids.
If you look along the top side of the PS4 and PS4 Pro you will notice that it has a full plastic surface with no openings whatsoever.
By moving the openings and cooling vents to the sides and back of the console, makes debris and liquids harder to enter than, say, if they were located on top (check out the Xbox One by comparison).
This still does not mean that the PlayStation 4 console can handle all kinds of spills, but the flat and hard plastic top surface does give the system a fighting chance to continue operating normally in the case of a small accidental spill.
The PS4 Has Many Exposed Openings
Other than the blank-slate style top cover that is featured on the console, the PlayStation 4 has exposed openings pretty much everywhere else.
On the front side of the device, there is a disc drive and buttons that operate the game eject and power-on functions, as well as USB ports to connect and charge accessories.
In the back, there are all the ports that connect the PS4 to the display and the power unit, as well as an opening for air ventilation.
Finally, on the sides, you have more vent openings that also have spinning fans to help further cool the PS4.
Needless to say, there are a lot of ways that liquid can get into the system.
Sony also did not incorporate any dust or water coatings to shield any of these components, so they are especially prone to dirt corrosion, and liquid damage if not cared for properly.
Your Controllers Are Also Delicate
Unlike the console’s saving grace of having a hard top-hat design with no openings, PS4 controllers have many openings that can allow debris and liquid to enter quite easily.
These openings include the buttons, joystick, and triggers, and rely on a smooth dry surface to perform at their peak.
Also be particularly careful with the micro-USB port on the front of the controller, as that is one area that can be exposed to liquids first, due to its low and downward-facing design.
So What If I Spilled on My PS4?
If you spilled a small amount of liquid on your PlayStation 4, you still may have a system that operates okay.
Simply wipe away the liquid from the console, wait until the area dries completely, and power on the system as you normally would.
If the spill is large and the system does not turn on, wipe away any liquid that you see on the console, but do not turn or shake the device to get the liquid out from the inside.
Moving the console around while wet can submerge other components that can cause further damage than initially done.
While keeping the system in its original position, wait until the liquid has dried and then attempt to power on the console again.
If the PS4 will not power on and you give it enough time for the liquid to dry, you can disassemble the unit carefully and air out all of the internal components while cleaning each with at least 90% isopropyl alcohol and a soft brush.
This guide from iFixit goes into more detail on how to correctly disassemble the PS4, as well as how to replace each internal component of the console individually.
Note: if you have an accidental damage warranty that includes liquid damage, you should not disassemble any part of the system and instead have the PS4 repaired “as-is”. Doing otherwise can void your warranty completely.
What Components Are Usually the First To Go When It Comes to Liquid Damage?
If you are attempting to repair a PS4 that’s been damaged by water, it’s best to be aware of some common culprits that are especially prone to breaking first so that you don’t have to order a ton of parts off the bat.
- Blu-Ray Drive: One of the easiest components to get damaged by liquids, the Blu-ray drive should be one of the first areas that you look at when repairing the PS4. Especially if the spill occurred on the front, water can get into the slot and corrode the optical lens that reads the game disc.
- Power Supply: Exposed by rear vents and the power block port, the power supply is known to be extremely sensitive to liquid damage on the PS4, and should be noted for moisture when disassembled. If your system shows zero signs of life when you are trying to power it on, it’s most likely the power supply that’s gone bad. This is especially true if the spill has occurred along the rear side of the PS4.
- Fan: Since the PS4 features a stealth, slim design, it also has a fairly wide-open fan that spins rapidly to keep its tight-spaced components cool enough to operate at peak performance. This fan pushes the hot air out through long openings along the sides of the PS4, leaving lots of potential for liquids to enter. If the fan sounds louder, corroded, or not operating at all during gaming, this component will most likely need to be replaced.
Best Ways to Prevent Future Spills On Your PS4
Maybe you were the victim of the horrible PS4 liquid spill, or it’s nerve-racking playing your system in an area that might be prone to these catastrophes, maintaining a dry environment for your system will keep it running flawlessly for years to come.
There sure is nothing like saving money, especially on unnecessary electronic repairs.
Here are the best ways that I have found to preserve your PS4 and keep your money towards getting some fresh new games.
Keep Your PS4 Up High
Most cases of liquid damage to PlayStations occur because they are located on the same level as drinks and faucets.
It might seem convenient to keep your console on a coffee table, a counter, or a nightstand. However, having your system in the same areas as liquids increases the risk of damage from accidental spills substantially.
If you have a tall dresser, shelf, or storage unit, these are the best places to locate your PS4 so that it is above (and away) from any sources of liquid.
Just be sure that the higher you place your system from the ground the more stable it is so that there aren’t any potential drops as well.
Get A PS4/Pro Dust Cover
Let’s admit: we get into a heated Call of Duty streak, but we have to leave our PS4s for work, travel, school, etc. and hope that it wasn’t damaged in some way before we got back. Agreed?
In order to prevent dust or liquid from entering the exposed open areas of your PS4, you should keep it covered. One way to do this is by laying a towel on top of the unit.
Better yet, check out this precision-fit PS4 dust cover by eXtremeRate on Amazon. It features a waterproof lining and easy access to your cable ports so that you can continue updating or installing games on your protected console while it’s in rest mode.
…Or Keep It in a Rugged Waterproof Travel Case
Like all the other items that we pack, we make sure that they are secure and held in compartments that are hopefully away from water.
The PS4 is for sure no different, as any kind of jostling, debris, or liquid that enters the system during transport can compromise its performance tremendously.
Case Club went one step further and understood that our controllers and accessories are super-sensitive and prone to the damage of travel. That’s why they launched the Case Club waterproof case for the PlayStation 4 which you can also check out on Amazon.
If ultimate protection for your game system on the go is what you are after, you should not overlook this rugged beast. Case Club incorporated secure clasps and waterproof gaskets around both lips of the clamshell so that nothing stands a chance of getting inside that case while you are traveling.
They also added custom-fit foam padding that snugly cradles your console, two controllers, and cables so that you don’t have to find another waterproof case to put them in.
This also keeps them from moving around so that your console and controllers stay scratch-free while keeping components in place.